Well, here we are. Let’s wrap up the stinking fish that is this roster as the Summer of Sam has now come to its official end.
They say a corpse rots from the head down, and this case is no different. Oh, let’s count the errors.
1A – Trading Teddy Bridgewater before the season had started, getting a low third-round pick in return. As previously asked, who thinks a player taken at the end of the third round will be more valuable than a known quantity such as a proven starting caliber NFL quarterback, with a Pro Bowl and playoff experience on his resume, and not yet in his prime.. Ummm.. no one that has not completely abandoned reason, I guess that leaves out those at One Jets Drive.
1B – Starting Darnold (See 1 above), when the schedule maker has the Jets playing three times in 11 calendar days, with two games being away. I’ve written it repeatedly, but for the last time… Monday night opener, in Detroit, which means Tuesday off, a sluggish Wednesday back to work, for the Dolphags on Sunday at home, then Myles Garrett and the Brownies Thursday frigging night, in Cleveland. BTW, if you are at the game feel free to use the urinals with two handles and the spout in the middle. No matter how good the .14 Caliber Killer may be, if winning was the priority, Bridgewater, who outplayed Darnold btw, was the smarter choice here. Experience matters, especially in this odd circumstance. That late third-round pick may have cost you a chance at a playoff spot. We’ll see.
2 – The wretched state of the offensive line. This unit is truly offensive considering the team just hitched it’s future to the number three overall pick and is throwing him like so much raw meat to the Lions, behind a patchwork group that is suspect on it’s best day. Christians entering the Colosseum probably entered the arena feeling better than the .14 Caliber Killer will when entering the Lions Den. That having been said. F*** Lions. Tigers have much more panache…JustSayin’.
3 – The TE group. Again, repeating myself, acquiring a high value rookie QB and then letting your only proven pass catching TE jet off for the sunny skies of Jacksonville over a million dollars, is retarded. So we are left with Herndon, a rookie that showed FLASHES in camp, not WOWED…flashes. Then Leggett, a second-year player, but essentially a rookie due to injury, no mention of him during camp…hmmmm…, Tomlinson, mostly a blocking TE, though he has shown he can catch the ball (especially if it’s on target like Darnold usually is), and he is a load. Let’s see if he can be a third and short, TE screen 1st down machine, often enough to not be a cue to the defense that his lining up means a run play. They did it a bit last year to good effect, but maybe bates is smart enough to make it a season-long guessing game. Lastly, I have no fucking clue why they kept Sterling over Walford. One Blocking TE is enough, and Walford did make plays in games during the pre-season. But I wasn’t in Florham Park all summer, much to my dismay.. We shall see. But as I detailed earlier, and often on the players at TE that we should have had, letting ASJ go when we run a West Coast offense and going into the season with a rookie QB and no TE safety blanket, is inexcusable.
4 – The WR Group. Ok, So Enunwa returns, joining Anderson and Kearse. Fine. Getting Terrell Pryor, was a Godsend. However, keeping Peake over a returning Devin Smith? Seriously? And let us not go examine what players might have been drafted instead of Ardarius Stewart and Chad Hansen. And Jets fans don’t get all meshuggeneh when Hansen becomes a player for the Patsies. He is a guy that Belli knows how to use in the slot, and we refuse to take notes and learn, while we watch our defense get killed in the short passing game, by slow white guys..that don’t play the slot nearly as well as Jalin Marshall did just last year. Which brings me to….
5 – The F***ing Return Game. Jalin Marshall, a gem signed as a UDFA, who did great things in his limited snaps as a slot WR, is gone, and yet… EVERY SINGLE PLAYER they have tried to replace him with makes it look like HE was using Stickem. I’m sure they still have his number, so please, cut Peake, and whoever you stick back there to return, (right now they seem unable to decide between the lesser of two evils) and use Marshall as a dedicated Slot man, and return man, and use the extra roster spot to grab an extra pass rusher or O-lineman.
So, Sam’s Club is looking at a very shaky opening, all of which can be hung directly on boneheaded decisions made by the front office, and they are to use the proper word, infuckingexcusable.
So, those are the obvious flaws and errors, the rest wraps up like this. The defense would be good…IF, after investing 10 years of premium draft picks on that side of the ball, they managed to find, one, just one, not two, not three, just one, edge rushing presence. And that goes back to a long-term organizational, institutional blueprint. We do not have one. And special teams sucks. In the pre-season, they couldn’t catch, return or cover. I mean at what point do we start looking at the special teams coaching???? Can we get Westhoff back? At least as a consultant? (Oh right that would be using ordinary business organizational principles, and these are “Football Guys”)
So, looking ahead, what is the outlook as I see it right now? The Lions, PhinPhags, and Browns are probably the three teams, you would pick if you had to start the season with a three games in 11 days issue. New Head coach for the Lions, the Phins are not Pacino’s Miami Sharks, and the Brownies make Jets fans feel good about themselves. Absent the Gastineau game, I know.
The Lions have at least attempted to fix their deficiencies in the run game, (they can’t remember their last 100 yard rusher), by focusing on beefing up their offensive line (Umm, MM, Hello?) and they retained the offensive coordinator during the coaching change to keep Matt Stafford in his groove. He also has a pair of 1000 yard receivers, so our lack of a pass rush will be key, as well as our offense sustaining drives and chewing up the clock, with Darnold playing as steadily as he did in the pre-season. Ball control probably wins this game. Can we get there? I dunno.. This should be a winnable game.
So should the Miami home opener, as well as the Browns game, though we will examine the latter two games after we see what Monday Night Football brings. If Teddy was still here, I’d pencil in 2-1 right now, letting special teams rob me of a close one.
IF by some magic stroke they manage that or … heaven forbid, 3-0, the middle of the schedule is favorable. You could be looking at meaningful games in December for the first time in a long time.
But, let’s let the first three games play out, then we can give a real full season prognosis.
I want to know what you think,
C’mon, Enter the Tigers Den.